Spielberg Talks ‘Lincoln’ Timeline & Planned Release Date

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

The latest war-oriented period drama from Steve Spielberg, War Horse, arrives in theaters this upcoming December. However, many people are already looking ahead to his next historical project: the long-gestating Lincoln biopic, which Spielberg plans to start shooting on location in Virginia next month.

Lincoln is based on Pulitzer Prize-winner Doris Kearns Goodwin’s well-respected book, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.” Goodwin collaborated on the Lincoln screenplay with another Pulitzer Prize-winner, Tony Kushner (Munich) – with Oscar-nominee John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator) and relative newcomer Paul Webb credited for an earlier draft of the script.

Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic long had Liam Neeson loosely attached to portray the famous, and bearded, U.S. president but those plans eventually fell by the wayside. However, Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis essentially resuscitated the project when he signed on to portray the titular historical figure, last year.

A whole slew of acclaimed thespians thereafter signed on for Lincoln, including Oscar-winners like Sally Fields and Tommy Lee Jones, on-the-ups star Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises), and highly-respected character actors such as John Hawkes (Martha Marcy May Marlene), David Costabile (Breaking Bad), Walton Goggins (Justified), and David Strathairn – among many other critically-acclaimed supporting players.

While the film boasts a huge cast – not to mention, Goodwin’s source material focuses in no small part on Lincoln’s rise to political power – Spielberg is indicating that his biopic will be much more specific and personal in its focus.

Here is what he told the Orlando Sentinel:

“['Lincoln' is] not a battlefield movie. There are [Civil War] battles in it, and being in Virginia, we have access to those historic battlefields. It is really a movie about the great work Abraham Lincoln did in the last months of his life… We’re basing it on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, ‘Team of Rivals,’ but we’re only focusing in on the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life.

Spielberg also mentioned that Lincoln will not hit theaters until after the 2012 U.S. presidential election is held – since he “didn’t want it to become political fodder.”

Steven Spielberg talks Lincoln biopic Spielberg Talks Lincoln Timeline & Planned Release Date

Narrowing down the focus is almost always a good idea when it comes to biopics – especially one that covers the eventful life of a historical figure like Lincoln. Combine that bit of information with the great cast and multiple Oscar-winning team working behind the camera on Lincoln – including Spielberg, director of photography Janusz Kaminiski (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan), production/art designer Rick Carter (Forrest Gump, Avatar), and Spielberg’s go-to composer, the legendary John Williams – and it should be (painfully) obvious: Lincoln is 100% pure Oscar bait.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the potential to be a fantastic piece of cinema, though… icon wink Spielberg Talks Lincoln Timeline & Planned Release Date

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We will let you know when Lincoln has settled on an official release date.

Source: Orlando Sentinel (via /Film)

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  1. Absolutely breathtaking. Oscars for all involved.
    Random Batman connection – Old Two-Face and John Blake together on screen.

  2. What most people believe about Lincoln is a lie. But, then again, most people think we fought the Civil War due to slavery. Again, wrong.

    Civil War starts in 1861. We kill each other for 3 years because the nothern states want the southern states to join the union (its all about the money the north doesnt collect from the south in taxes).
    Lincoln abolishes slavery in 1863 but only for the confederate (southern)states. The nothern states kept their slaves till well after the civil war ended. Lincold used southern slaves as a way to WIN the civil war and no one can argue that. But to say this man ended slavery (which I despise) out of the goodness of his heart is simply a lie.

    I could go on but most of you probably think I am racist or something by this point. I just dont like glorifying a lie and that is what this movie will do.

    • Fail.

      Slavery had been outlawed in the North long before the Civil War started.

      • Right, but remember the Border states that stayed loyal to the Union. Those were slave states, and slavery was legal throughout the war.

        This is why the terms “The Union” and “The North” are not interchangable.

    • Hey Bubba, you can’t just make up History that suits the narrative of your choice as you go along ya know. Slavery was outlawed inn all Northern states prior to the start of the civil war. Which makes your post rather idiotic at best. I suggest you leave the trailer and read some books.

      • You need to read some books yourself.

        Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware were slave states which remained loyal to the Union (some through the use of federal troops).

        New England, most of the mid-Atlantic, the Mid-West and California were free states, and are north in the geographic sense, but it’s not correct to say the Union was slave free, it simply wasn’t.

    • The Civil War was very much about slavery. The South’s plantation economy depended on it as an institution, and the reason why they seceded was because the free states were beginning to outnumber the slave states.

      Lincoln spoke against intermarriage and black suffrage, and his motivation for the Civil War was to preserve the Union and not because of his burning desire to free slaves, this much is evident. But do not say that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, because that is an outright lie.

      • Do a google search for ‘Radical Republicans’ and you will see it was very much about slavery.

  3. Lincoln’s words, not mine…..

    Lincoln said: “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I … am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.”

    He also said, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that..”

    And I am done with this topic. As in everything in life, decide for yourself and dont believe everything you hear on the history channel :)

    • “didn’t want it to become political fodder.”

      The only decent thing for the producers of Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden movie to do now is follow suit.

      • Oops. That wasn’t meant to be a reply to anybody’s comment… My bad!

    • Most informed people know that Lincoln did not fight the Civil War merely to free the slaves but for the preservation of the Union.

      Lincoln was a man of his time, constrained by that period’s politics as all of us are, had he supported absolute equality among the races, (even the most liberal of Republicans didn’t believe in full equality of the races) he would have never been elected, for he was a dark horse in the race. He was always more of a center left guy, his main platform was that slavery would not spread where it already existed and that it would eventually die a slow death and ultimately preserve the union, and in that way the country would avert civil war; but WAR was inevitable for slavery was an evil that could not be allowed endure any longer. I don’t think he was a racist in any sense he was far too BIG for that.

      I am a black man who thinks Lincoln was one of the greatest MEN who ever walked this earth.

      • Lincoln said: “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I … am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.”

        He also said, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that..”

      • Your so right. Why question Fredrick Douglas’ views on Lincoln. He was a former slave and harshest Lincoln critique until he figured what the President was doing. He had to say these quotes that Lerone Bennett and Thomas Dilorenzo like to point out because it would have been political suicide to say anything else. We speak of racism today. It was nothing like it was back then. Yes the Northeast did not like slavery but even some of the biggest abolitionists were racists when it came to equality. white America was not ready to welcome blacks as their equals, even in the North. But he made sure the 13th amendment passed. He was about to grant voting rights to the blacks who served in the war and the educated blacks at the time. Many blacks freed in the South were loyal to their former masters and racists themselves. You got to understand that if he did not say what he did at the time then he would have become politically useless as those few abolitionists were in becoming no more than critiques of society at in the day. Lincoln was a great man and a great friend to blacks and made the path that Martin Luther King embraced him for later when he gave his greatest speech in front of his memorial. Do you question King’s judgement too?

  4. i’d probably see it :D
    more so because of the subject of the movie

  5. This is going to be a great movie I love bio-movies J.Edgar is going to be great as well I can’t wait

  6. Well, it’s nice to know that Lincoln won’t be partisan political bait, unlike the clearly one-sided Bigelow Bin Laden movie.

    • Can someone enlighten me about Bigelows bin Laden movie being one sided, because I haven’t heard much of anything since it was.announced. links would.be appreciated.

  7. Things are being assumed about Bigelow’s film… out of ignorance.

  8. The only book i need to read about Lincoln involves the slaying of vampires. But will DDL portraying him i shall probably see the film.

  9. Daniel day lewis is going to can another best actor nod, consider him to be the one to take home “the grandaddy of knicknacks” this next year for the portrayal, like capote, I called that one and I’m calling this one, he’s gonna make this role his b****.

  10. Daniel day lewis is going to can another best actor nod, consider him to be the one to take home “the grandaddy of knicknacks” this next year for the portrayal, like capote, I called that one and I’m calling this one, he’s gonna make this role his btch

  11. Her name is Sally FIELD. Not Sally FIELDS, for heaven’s sake!!!

  12. After winning TWO Oscars for BEST ACTRESS, she should be familiar enough to have her correct name printed in the media!

  13. Mr. McCoy is correct about another nomination for DDL, but another win is quite the long-shot. Jack Nicholson has three Oscars, but even those do include one as Supporting Actor ( for TERMS OF ENDEARMENT ). A third for Lewis would be a lovely surprise, and a historic one, but it’s not likely…

  14. Consider Lewis’ competition:

    Bill Murray (Hyde Park on Hudson)
    Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
    Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
    John Hawkes (The Surrogate)
    Aaron Johnson (Savages)
    Tony Leung (Grandmasters)
    Leo diCaprio (The Great Gatsby)
    … not to mention stellar turns by the likes of Bryan Cranston, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy, Jamie Foxx, Sean Penn, Robert Pattinson, Tom Hanks, Seth Rogan, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tommy Lee Jones, Jeremy Renner and Clint Eastwood…As I said:” Not bloody likely…”

  15. …and Terence Stamp!!! OMG!!!

  16. —Must say, Lewis, a superb impressionist, though
    NOT an actor of depth and character development,
    FAILS to get beyond the make up in this dud.

    –Beyond this 6th? –7th? Lincoln retread –catch this!

    “The money power preys upon the nation
    in times of peace, and conspires against
    it in times of adversity,
    It is MORE despotic than monarchy,
    more insolent than aristocracy,
    more selfish than bureaucracy.”
    -Abraham Lincoln
    1864
    MONEYMASTERS documentary
    (20 MILLION views online)

    AMEN

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